Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 93 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a finisher try to tell me that the reason why I can see speed bumps on a hallway (almost every joint was humped out bad) Is because the GC asked for a level 4 finish and If he wanted it 100% flat He should have paid for a level 5. I dont know about you guys but a level 4 still needs to be flat it just means you finish the joints, angles, and screws. A level 5 is a tight skim after you achieve a level 4 and sand it. The reason for a level 5 is not to flatten at all just to achieve a consistentcy of all mud so you cant see the difference in texture between the mudded portions of the wall and the paper face of the sheetrock. All in all a level 4 should be flat. Is this just a geographical thing or is it a universal concept?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,403 Posts
wallnatural said:
I had a finisher try to tell me that the reason why I can see speed bumps on a hallway (almost every joint was humped out bad) Is because the GC asked for a level 4 finish and If he wanted it 100% flat He should have paid for a level 5. I dont know about you guys but a level 4 still needs to be flat it just means you finish the joints, angles, and screws. A level 5 is a tight skim after you achieve a level 4 and sand it. The reason for a level 5 is not to flatten at all just to achieve a consistentcy of all mud so you cant see the difference in texture between the mudded portions of the wall and the paper face of the sheetrock. All in all a level 4 should be flat. Is this just a geographical thing or is it a universal concept?
Depends where you are I'm sure. I can see the board joints on every home around here from $100k-$1.3m. The only time I don't see them is when texture is done and I think its a common reason around here for texture. Most people won't spot the joints unless a powerful light is held down the wall but most contractors will spot it.

Here's one done by a so called pro drywall company in this area. Every joint looked like this. HO couldn't tell until I put my light down the wall. But most HO don't know any better. If you want a flat finish here you have to ask for a level 5. Some drywall guys I have spoken to didnt even know what the level system was lol



image-2275573764.jpg
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
29,529 Posts
ASTM Standard C840

"
Level 4 All joints and interior angles shall have tape embedded in joint compound and shall be immediately wiped with a joint knife or trowel leaving a thin coating of joint compound over all joints and interior angles. Two separate coats of joint compound shall be applied over all flat joints. One separate coat of joint compound shall be applied over interior angles. Fastener heads and accessories shall be covered with three separate coats of joint compound. All joint compounds shall be smooth and free of tool marks and ridges (see 22.4.1.1). The prepared surface shall be covered with a drywall primer prior to the application of the final decoration.
"

http://www.mpi.net/mpitraining/level1/standards/ASTM.asp

Also here:

http://nationalgypsum.com/resources/tech-talk-revisiting.htm

"
Level 4
If the final decoration is to be a flat paint, light texture or lightweight wall covering, a Level 4 finish is recommended. As stated in Level 4, "All joints and interior angles shall have tape embedded in joint compound and shall be immediately wiped with a joint knife leaving a thin coating of joint compound over all joints and interior angles. Two separate coats of joint compound shall be applied over all flat joints and one separate coat of joint compound shall be applied over interior angles. Fastener heads and accessories shall be covered with three separate coats of joint compound. All joint compound shall be smooth and free of tool marks and ridges." It is recommended that the prepared surface be coated with a drywall primer prior to the application of final finishes.

In severe lighting areas, flat paints applied over light textures tend to reduce joint photographing. Paints with sheen levels other than flat as well as enamel paints are not recommended over this level of finish. Special attention should be paid to long corridors, large areas of wall, and large/multiple windows when specifying Level 4, because these areas are potential areas of concern in achieving acceptable wall finishes, and may need to be specified appropriately.
"

I consider humped seams a level 2 finish.
 

·
Particulate Filter
Joined
·
4,430 Posts
I had a finisher try to tell me that the reason why I can see speed bumps on a hallway (almost every joint was humped out bad) Is because the GC asked for a level 4 finish and If he wanted it 100% flat He should have paid for a level 5. I dont know about you guys but a level 4 still needs to be flat it just means you finish the joints, angles, and screws. A level 5 is a tight skim after you achieve a level 4 and sand it. The reason for a level 5 is not to flatten at all just to achieve a consistentcy of all mud so you cant see the difference in texture between the mudded portions of the wall and the paper face of the sheetrock. All in all a level 4 should be flat. Is this just a geographical thing or is it a universal concept?

LEVELS OF GYPSUM BOARD FINISH

LEVEL 1 - Tape set in joint compound. Tool marks and ridges acceptable. Surface is free of excess joint compound.

Suggested use: Frequently specified in areas above ceilings, in attics, in areas where the assembly would generally be concealed, or in areas not normally open to public view. Some degree of sound and smoke control is provided. In some geographic areas, this level is referred to as "fire-taping". Tape and fastener heads need not be covered with joint compound.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LEVEL 2 - Tape embedded in joint compound and wiped with a joint knife, leaving a thin coat of compound over tape. Surface shall be covered by one separate coat of joint compound. Surface shall be free of excess joint compound. Tool marks and ridges acceptable. Joint compound applied over the body of the tape at the time of tape embedment shall be considered a separate coat of joint compound and shall satisfy the conditions of this level.

Suggested use: Specified where water-resistant gypsum backing board is used as a substrate for tile. May also be specified in garages, warehouse storage or other similar areas where surface appearance is not of primary concern.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LEVEL 3 - Taped as in level #2, then covered with two separate coats of joint compound. Joint compound shall be smooth and free of tool marks and ridges. Note: It is recommended that the prepared surface be coated with a drywall primer prior to the application of final finishes.

Suggested use: Typically specified in appearance areas which are to receive heavy or medium texture finishes before final painting, or where heavy-grade wall coverings are to be applied as the final decoration. This level of finish is not recommended where smooth painted surfaces, or light to medium weight wall coverings are specified.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LEVEL 4 - Taped as in level #2, then covered with three separate coats of joint compound. Joint compound shall be smooth and free of tool marks and ridges. Note: It is recommended that the prepared surface be coated with a drywall primer prior to the application of final finishes.

Suggested use: This level should be specified where flat paints, light textures or wall coverings are to be applied. In critical lighting areas, flat paints applied over light textures tend to reduce joint photographing. Gloss, semi-gloss and enamel paints are not recommended over this level of finish. The weight, texture and sheen level of wall coverings applied over this level of finish should be carefully evaluated. Joints and fasteners must be adequately concealed if the wall covering material is lightweight, contains limited pattern, has a gloss finish or any combination of these features is present. Un-backed vinyl wall-coverings are not recommended over this level of finish.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LEVEL 5 - Taped as in level #4. Surface shall be covered by three separate coats of joint compound. A thin skim coat of joint compound, or a material manufactured especially for this purpose, shall be applied to the entire surface. The surface shall be smooth and free of tool marks and ridges. Note: It is recommended that the prepared surface be coated with a drywall primer prior to the application of final finishes.

Suggested use: This level of finish is highly recommended where gloss, semi-gloss, enamel or non-textured flat paints are specified, or where severe lighting conditions occur. This highest quality finish is the most effective method to provide a uniform surface and minimize the possibility of joint photographing and of fasteners showing through the final decoration.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GLOSSARY
 

·
Particulate Filter
Joined
·
4,430 Posts
Critical Lighting - Strong sidelighting from windows or surface-mounted light fixtures. Wall and ceiling areas abutting windows or skylights, long hallways, or atriums with large surface areas flooded with artificial and/or natural lighting are a few examples of critical lighting areas. Strong sidelighting from windows or surface-mounted light fixtures may reveal even minor surface imperfections. Light striking the surface obliquely, at a very slight angle, greatly exaggerates surface irregularities. If critical lighting cannot be avoided, the effects can be minimized by skim coating the gypsum board surfaces, by decorating the surface with medium to heavy textures, or by the use of draperies and blinds which soften shadows. In general, gloss, semi-gloss, and enamel finishes highlight surface defects; textures hide minor imperfections.
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
29,529 Posts
I can see the board joints on every home around here from $100k-$1.3m.
I think it's easier to hide them consistently if you don't break the joints on studs. From there, I'm good if it isn't noticeable with with room light or outside lite, but that's really from the patching and reno side, not new drywall. I just use the 12" knife edge to see how much fill has to happen where to get it flat enough. Keep going until there isn't a noticeable gap under the edge.
 

·
Every now and then poster
Joined
·
13,436 Posts
Huh. I have been calling level 5 a 4 for ever. Time to change the contract verbiage. Level 5 is the only way to go. I complete skim EVERY project now. Doesnt take much more time and creates a much nicer finish. I'm thinking about mixing primer into my skim mix just to try it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,403 Posts
ohiohomedoctor said:
Huh. I have been calling level 5 a 4 for ever. Time to change the contract verbiage. Level 5 is the only way to go. I complete skim EVERY project now. Doesnt take much more time and creates a much nicer finish. I'm thinking about mixing primer into my skim mix just to try it.
Same here. Hitting it with my sander takes hardly anymore time and applying it hardly any either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,572 Posts
In commercial we are seeing a lot of the high build, self leveling primers used to achieve a Lvl 5. Flatness is common misconception.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,940 Posts
Level 5 is meant to prevent flashing on the finished painted surface
That's part of what a good primer does.
It's pretty clear that Level 5 is primarily meant to prevent flashing

LEVEL 5 - Taped as in level #4. Surface shall be covered by three separate coats of joint compound. A thin skim coat of joint compound, or a material manufactured especially for this purpose, shall be applied to the entire surface. The surface shall be smooth and free of tool marks and ridges. Note: It is recommended that the prepared surface be coated with a drywall primer prior to the application of final finishes.

Suggested use: This level of finish is highly recommended where gloss, semi-gloss, enamel or non-textured flat paints are specified, or where severe lighting conditions occur. This highest quality finish is the most effective method to provide a uniform surface and minimize the possibility of joint photographing and of fasteners showing through the final decoration.
 

·
Drywall Slave
Joined
·
9,441 Posts
Depends where you are I'm sure. I can see the board joints on every home around here from $100k-$1.3m. The only time I don't see them is when texture is done and I think its a common reason around here for texture. Most people won't spot the joints unless a powerful light is held down the wall but most contractors will spot it.

Here's one done by a so called pro drywall company in this area. Every joint looked like this. HO couldn't tell until I put my light down the wall. But most HO don't know any better. If you want a flat finish here you have to ask for a level 5. Some drywall guys I have spoken to didnt even know what the level system was lol



View attachment 102949

High shoulder board ? Pick a brand.:whistling
Most ''drywall guys'' Still finish there rock off like they did 10-15 years ago ,as it should be! but now The wallboard won't allow that. These days the butt joints can be easier to finish off than the seams .Since the Housing /mortgage crash all the drywall materials I use to love to work with I now hate to see .. Load a home with osb and buckets full of red clay and I can give you a better finish then what USG , N/G,and Certainteed are sending out these days...


The first 2 pics are l/w/USG over floor joist that were up down. up down. up down..Which makes the high shoulders REALLY BAD..The last pick is USG regular board over floor joist that were as perfect a frame job anyone could ask for ..I still had to bust out the high shoulders on the seams. :sad:
 

Attachments

·
Drywall Slave
Joined
·
9,441 Posts
My point was you don't have to do level 5 to prevent flashing. It's a lot more work to do a level 5 than just using the right primer.
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 
1 - 20 of 93 Posts
Top